Here's why you can call Kate Middleton 'Princess William' but not 'Princess Kate'

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their wedding day. Julian Finney/Getty Images
  • Kate Middleton is technically Princess of the United Kingdom, although she doesn't use the title in a formal capacity.
  • Middleton is best known as the Duchess of Cambridge, the title she inherited after marrying Prince William in 2011.
  • However, if she were to use the princess title, she wouldn't be allowed to go by "Princess Kate" or "Princess Catherine" because women who become royal by marriage must take their husband's name.
  • Therefore, she would technically be "Princess William of Wales."
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Kate Middleton has many titles. She's best-known as the Duchess of Cambridge, and the Countess of Strathearn in Scotland — but did you know she's also Princess of the United Kingdom?

Middleton doesn't use the title in a formal capacity. In fact, the only time the royal has been officially acknowledged as a princess is in the occupation title section of her children's birth certificates.

However, if she did use the title, she would have to take her husband's name instead of her own, making her "Princess William of Wales." Here's why.Advertisement

Only 'blood princesses' get to keep their own names

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie — daughters of Prince Andrew — were born into royalty, so they were able to keep their names as part of their title. This privilege didn't change when Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank in 2018.

The same rule applies to all "blood princesses," including Middleton's daughter Princess Charlotte.

Kate Middleton's daughter was given the title of princess when she was born. Max Mumby/ Getty Images
Advertisement

However, women who marry into the family inherit their husband's title – and this includes even Princess Diana.

"Diana was never Princess Diana," Marlene Koenig, a royal expert for History Extra, told Insider. "The British royal family follows the older German style of royal wives, by styling the wife by her husband's name. "The press called her Princess Diana as the press still uses Prince Charles even though Charles not been styled as Prince Charles since his mother became queen," she added, referencing Charles' title of Charles, Prince of Wales.Advertisement

One of the most well known royal women to style their name like this in the present day is Princess Michael of Kent, wife to the Queen's first cousin Prince Michael.

Middleton will only get to use her first name when she becomes Queen consort

When Prince William became the Duke of Cambridge upon his marriage to Middleton in 2011, she also inherited this title and became Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

"If the Queen had not created William a duke, Catherine would be styled as HRH Princess William of Wales," Koenig explained.Advertisement

Similar to the princess title, Middleton isn't able to shorten her title to Duchess Catherine as it isn't technically correct.

The only time she will be able to use her first name after a title is when she becomes Queen consort. When Prince William accedes to the throne, she will be known as Queen Catherine, according to Koenig.

Read more:Advertisement

Prince Louis' birth certificate casually lists his mom Kate Middleton's occupation as a 'princess' — and it's adorable

Kate Middleton wore a $37 Zara sweater to video call children of essential workers

22 photos show how Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Kate Middleton, and Prince William's relationship has changed over timeAdvertisement

Read the original article on Insider
{{}}